Music in True Grit

Based on David Fenimore’s comments:

Michael’s got me thinking about the role that the soundtrack plays in this rhythmic distancing of perspective. I remember noticing the alternation of traditional sweeping orchestral “western” music with more intimate (and synchronistic) folk-flavored music. I was especially aware of this in the final scenes, when the epilogue (as I remember) is set to a honky-tonk solo piano, a striking contrast from the mythic sweep of stars as Cogburn brings Mattie “home.”

Building on David’s observation, what follows the epilogue is Iris DeMent’s haunting version of the hymn “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,” which plays over the credits (and may begin while we see Maggie walking away from Rooster’s grave). My memory may not be completely accurate here, but I believe that the melody of “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” appears here and there throughout the film—perhaps even in the orchestral music behind the scene of Little Blackie’s last ride and Cogburn’s bring Mattie “home” (to use David’s phrase).

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One Response to “Music in True Grit”

  1. Ron Scheer Says:

    Your memory is correct. The hymn plays every now and then throughout the film. Very effective choice.


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